Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 7th 2014 Contents DEREK ACHONG
A lawyer who has been involved in sev-
eral recent prison abuse cases claims media
reports have unfairly linked him to an
unethical business venture against the
State. Attorney Gerald Ramdeen yesterday
broke his silence on the issue, saying he
has nothing to hide.
His comments came even as Attorney
General Anand Ramlogan is set to commence
his stakeholder consultations on the con-
troversial prison litigation issue.
On Monday, Ramlogan announced that
the consultations had been postponed until
further notice as a result of the murder of
Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal. The consul-
tations were ordered by Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar after former solicitor
general Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell said
recently that she expected a probe into her
claims should continue.
Donaldson-Honeywell, in a latter to Per-
sad-Bissessar last August, had claimed there
was an unethical business venture being
conducted within the Office of the Attorney
General but noted that it was being done
by external attorneys.
Speaking at a press conference at the Hyatt
Regency, Port-of-Spain, yesterday, Ramdeen,
said he had been observing media coverage
on the issue since last March in which his
name was used.
"It is after much trepidation, reflection
and great reluctance that I am compelled to
hold this press conference today but it has
become necessary for me to do so in order
that I may clear my name and provide clar-
ification of all that has been said in the public
domain," Ramdeen said.
He said during his 14-year career he had
appeared in more than 200 assault and bat-
tery cases involving prisoners. He said he
continues to take such cases because he feels
the prison system is "severely compromised
and challenged" in terms of human rights
and respect for prisoners.
"In many ways, the system is constituted
in a way that does not give the prisoner a
second chance at being a law-abiding citizen
and leading an honest life.
"Instead, the system forces the prisoner
into a prison culture that intentionally extin-
guishes any dream or prospect of that second
chance," Ramdeen said.
Ready to defend name
Ramdeen said the reports which named
him failed to consider the lawsuits in which
he was successful in obtaining compensation
for abused prisoners and instead focused on
three in which prisoners lost their claim.
"I am amazed that the focus has thus far
been on the minority of cases that prisoners
have lost, as opposed to the debilitating and
inhumane conditions and practices that exist
in our prison today, which forces all in the
system to be a victim," he said.
He also noted that since the start his
extensive legal career, the Office of the AG
had been settling and losing prison cases,
a fact which he said was confirmed by former
attorney general Bridget Annisette-George
in an interview with the media on Monday.
"In fact, 71 per cent of High Court cases
between November 2005 and May 31, 2012,
resulted in findings of abuse by agents of
the State," he said.
Commenting on the High Court case of
his client Jamal Sambury, which has been
refered to the disciplinary committee of the
Law Association, Ramdeen welcomed the
referal, saying he was ready to defend his
reputation and character.
"I have nothing to hide and would vig-
orously defend my good name against alle-
gations, both public and private," he said.
He also pleaded with media personnel to
refrain from publishing "prejudicial, biased
and damaging" stories while the issue was
When asked by reporters to comment on
allegations of "copy and pasting" in witness
statements in prisoner abuse cases, Ramdeen
refused to comment, citing the committee s
However, his colleague Wayne Sturge,
who also spoke, said: "I don t know any
attorney who types up a document from
scratch. If there are precedents, you start by
using your precedents and you delete and
add as you see fit," Sturge said.
He said this was a normal practice for
attorneys who wished to save on time and
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A 27-year-old man who claimed he was
molested by a government official last year was
arrested on six fraud charges on Monday night.
Police sources said the man was arrested around
9 pm in Couva by Port-of-Spain Fraud Squad
officers in connection with allegations that he
defrauded six people of various sums of money.
The man is expected to be placed on ID parades
later today and it is expected that he may be
charged with more fraud offences.
Yesterday, however, officers were adamant that
the man, who claimed the government official
made sexual advances when he visited his home
in north Trinidad last year, was not arrested in
relation to that allegation.
Media reports yesterday suggested that the
man was held for extortion arising out of the
However, Fraud Squad detectives told the T&T
Guardian their unit was not investigating any
report in relation to the allegation made against
the government official or any counter-allegations.
Senior Supt Johnny Abraham yesterday con-
firmed the man was arrested by Port-of-Spain
officers for fraud inquiries.
"He was arrested on inquiries where he (alleged-
ly) defrauded money from a number of people,"
It is expected that charges will be laid against
the man later today. He will appear before a Port-
of-Spain magistrate tomorrow.
The man reported to the police nearly two
months ago he was molested by the government
official. He alleged that the official grabbed his
crotch and bit his nipples. The alleged incidents
occurred in January and October last year.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Prison litigation lawyer breaks silence...
for 06th MAY, 2014
Ramdeen: I have
nothing to hide
Attorney Gerald Ramdeen, right, addresses members of the media during a press
conference at Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. At left is his colleague Wayne
Sturge. PHOTO: CLYDE LEWIS
Fraud charges for
man who made
sex claims against
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